What’s a “real” pit bull, anyway? I've read that it isn't a real breed, that “pit bull” is a term to describe a group of breeds.
For a while, I wondered whether I should stop referring to Tommy as a pit bull. When I was immersed in my trial-by-fire education about these dogs after taking Tommy into my home, it seemed the politically correct name was “American Staffordshire Terrier.”
But I’m sorry: when someone asks me what kind of dog Tommy is, I’m not going to say “American Staffordshire Terrier mix.” That’s eleven syllables!
Compare that to “pit bull mix.”
Three simple syllables.
Rolls right off the tongue.
I suppose it can conjure up images of dog fights and gangs and deadly attacks. But I’d rather work on changing the perception of what a pit bull is and can be than distance myself from the maligned stereotype that induces so much fear.
Back in the 70s when I grew up, Tommy would just be a mutt. On the other hand, I don't recall seeing any dogs running around Long Island suburban streets that looked like Tommy.
So, what’s a “real” pit bull? Here are some sites with their version of the answer:
Pit Bull Rescue Central
Official Pit Bull Site of Diane Jessup
Bull Dog Breeds
American Kennel Club - American Staffordshire Terrier